My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 7
It was time to get a move on, so I wandered back out to the truck. I wanted to give it a once over, check the fluids and tire pressures, then have a shower and get going.
First thing I noticed was the whole drivers side of the truck was covered in diesel, it was even pooled in the rib of the drivers side tubeless wheels and the red dirt under the front cross member showed that the patched fuel leak had become worse. Even the lower third of the cab on the drivers side had a film of diesel on it, so I knew it'd need more attention. The whole underside of the truck was covered in diesel too.
Up until then, I had wrongly assumed it was a low pressure return line from the pump, as I believed if it was leaking on the lift side of the pump, it'd suck air and not run properly, if at all.
Unfortunately I had forgotten to pack sealant, so I thought OK, I'll just pull the cable tied brake hose patch off, clean it, wrap it in duct tape and then refit the rubber hose patch with hose clamps this time. I then checked the oil and water, poured in less than a litre of water to top her up and started the motor to check the fuel leak and warm the motor somewhat whilst checking the tyre pressures. The leaked appeared to be sealing better, with a drop every few seconds, so I thought to myself if it degrades I'll stop at Port Augusta and find a hose shop to replace both the compressor line and what I thought is the fuel return line. I checked the tank with my now trusty bit of garden hose and the level was where I thought it should be for the distance covered. So I shut her down, grabbed my bag and a fresh set of hi vis and made my way to the shower block.
Earlier during breakfast I had enquired about the showers and was advised how to simply use $1.00 coins to turn the water on for 4 minutes. The showers were very clean and from what I could see everyone observed the mop up sign before you leave.
I was a little cold again from working under the truck and diesel had run up my arms and the back of my head which I had rested on the steer axle whilst under there was also a bit grubby, so thankfully I had a few coins with me, but mindfully kept the water pressure low to conserve water, whilst having a slightly longer hot shower and washing out a pair of shorts as I hadn't packed enough and had forgot to purchase more in Kmart back at Kalgoorlie. Warmed up with fresh soft clothes that Patricia had put through the dryer was very welcoming.
Back in the truck, I fired the Ol girl up again and noticed one of the rattles I was hearing was due to the passenger side sleeper vent being wired shut with speaker wire as the linkages had failed. So I jumped out and grabbed the trusty role of duct tape and tightly taped the remaining linkages shut in the hope that they also wouldn't rattle.
I eased out on to the road without the earphones inserted to have a listen and make sure everything was fine and gradually accelerated up to speed as she warmed up. I was quite pleased with myself as I went through all 8 gears without a single crunch.
Even with the morning sun shining into the cabin and warming both me and the roof, plus the heat soak starting to warm the cabin from underneath, it was still quite cool this morning and I was still wearing my old woollen hi vis jacket to keep warm. I had carefully coiled an used pair of trousers and shirt around the gear stick, which kept most of the hot fumes at bay too. I reached up and closed to roof vent which helped, as all I had open was both quarter windows and the drivers side bunk vent. So whilst my taping job on the passenger side bunk vent helped eliminate most of the cabs rattles, I had created a new one by shutting the roof vent. I noticed the mechanism had worn, so I added that one to my mental gunna do list.
I had been adding a bottle of Wurth Diesel Cure to each full tank and that along with the longer runs made motor more responsive and cleared up quite a bit of the excessive oil smoke in the mornings. So I started to let the revs climb up to an indicated 2150, as there was little or no driveline vibration there. I was seeing an indicated 62 mph hour, but was still being overtaken by semi's.
Next stop Penong...